Weird Crush Wednesday: AwfulFantasy is the cure to the purple prose that ails you

Deputy Entertainment Editor

Our weekly column in which writers reveal their current in-the-margains pop culture obsession.

Do you know one of the things I love most about the Internet? The whip-smart parody Twitter accounts that rise and fall like ancient regimes. Here today, gone tomorrow. Rulers of the world, then buried forever in a layer of social media sediment.

A few rise above the noise to be baked into collective consciousness – like @Horse_ebooks and @FilmCriticHULK. But most are just a flash-in-the-pan. Yet while they last, these anonymous satirists can bring a much needed chuckle to a Twitter feed oscillating between political debate and Instagram photos of everyone”s idealized life and lunch choices.

To that end, my current favorite is @AwfulFantasy. Every day, this ode to the purple prose of yesterday sticks it to overblown fantasy tropes. Whether involving high fantasy, space fantasy, or new-fangled steampunk, no sub-genre is safe from their loving barbs.


As someone who grew up reading Frank Herbert”s “Dune” and L. Ron Hubbard”s “Battlefield Earth,” I am no stranger to a beloved author using three words where one will do. Looking at you, Edgar Rice Burroughs. And for every Robert Jordan, there are a hundred other authors churning out pulpy goodness about burly men in loincloths and the damsels in distress that loved them.


The best thing about AwfulFantasy is how non-malicious it is. Whoever is running this gig is a fan of fantasy. After all, you can”t truly make fun of something unless you are immersed in the subject matter. They”re pointing out terrible tropes and outdated archetypes…but sprinkled with love and a wink.

Whether it”s taking on the old chestnut that beauty=good…


Or making puns worthy of any Dad Joke™ hall of fame…


Or arbitrarily getting really nit-picky…


Not even authors are immune.


So if you”ve ever read a novel and thought, “Oh my God, the heroine has purple eyes again?” or “Of course the farm boy is the Chosen One” while your eyes roll out of your head, please join me in saluting the fine work of the mind or minds behind @AwfulFantasy!

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